Paramount Global Announces Participants For 2022-2023 Writers Mentoring Program

Camille D'Elia, Daniela Labi, Edith Rodriguez, India Gurley, Kahlil Maskati, Lizzie Perrin and Teresa Tuan, the seven participants in the 2022-23 Paramount Writers Mentoring Program.
Camille D'Elia, Daniela Labi, Edith Rodriguez, India Gurley, Kahlil Maskati, Lizzie Perrin and Teresa Tuan, the seven participants in the 2022-23 Paramount Writers Mentoring Program. Diana King/CBS

Paramount Global has announced the seven writers who will be participating Writers Mentoring Program for 2023-2023. Currently in its 19th year and helmed by the Paramount Office of Global Inclusion, the eight-month program provides mentorships, access and opportunity for writers.

For 16 weeks, the writers will attend small workshop-style meetings with showrunners, executive producers, agents, managers, and development and current executives to gain a better understanding of how the business works from many different perspectives.

Each of the writers are paired with an executive from the Paramount studio brands including Paramount Television Studios, CBS Studios and CBS Television Network with whom they will meet on a regular basis to discuss their work and receive creative feedback on their material, advice and support in furthering their career.

“The Paramount Writers Mentoring Program has proven to be a force for change in our company and the industry at large,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president of diversity and inclusion, West Coast, Paramount. “Our robust alumni network and supportive Paramount executives continue the legacy of fostering emerging writers by offering exposure, access and opportunity as they establish their careers. We trust that these seven talented creatives will follow in the footsteps of our previous classes, who have staffed numerous shows.”

This program has helped launch the careers of 94 writers, including Leonard Chang (Snowfall), Akela Cooper (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds), Howard Jordan Jr. (Bigger), Angela Kang (The Walking Dead), Janet Lin (Bridgerton), April Shih (Dave), Aaron Rashaan Thomas (S.W.A.T.), and Julie Wong (Grey’s Anatomy), among numerous others.

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Here are this year’s participants:

Camille D’Elia
Camille D’Elia is a Filipino/Italian-American screenwriter from Roseland, N.J. Growing up multi-cultural, she fell in love with storytelling at a young age and fostered the craft in high school creative writing classes. She holds a BFA in film and television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she was a New York Women in Communications Hearst Scholarship recipient. Before moving to Los Angeles, D’Elia worked as a video producer in New York, creating original content for CBS and The CW. D’Elia is passionate about writing character-driven dramedies that feature outsiders who break the rules and use humor and imagination to cope with the stresses of life. She has worked as a writers’ assistant on S.W.A.T. and is currently the development assistant to showrunner/writer Aaron Rahsaan Thomas. Outside of writing, she enjoys ceramic pottery, all things vintage and visiting every beach and farmer’s market in Southern California.

India Gurley:
Originally from Detroit, Gurley is a classically trained actress turned TV writer, dedicated to highlighting the magic, humor and nuance of Black women from all walks of life. As a performer, Gurley has worked at theaters around the world, such as Shakespeare’s Globe, and has appeared on “The Chi” and “Chicago Fire.” She graduated with an MFA from UC San Diego before moving to L.A., where she worked as a showrunner’s assistant for Sony Pictures Television before landing in the comedy development department at ABC Signature. Her scripts have placed in Final Draft Big Break, WB Writer’s Workshop, The Black List. In 2021, she was in the inaugural class of the Independent Film Trust’s Creative Corridor Fellowship. Gurley is a proud #StartWith8Hollywood Menteeand a recipient of the California Arts Council Individual Artists grant.

Daniela Labi
Daniela Labi (she/her) is a Libyan-Italian-American screenwriter born and raised in California. With a knack for punchy dialogue and strong character development, Labi writes female-driven, socially-inquisitive, dark comedy dramas. She studied Arabic and hydropolitics in the Middle East, publishing research on the Yarkon-Tananinim aquifer underneath the West Bank. She started her career in Silicon Valley and later shifted her sights toward Hollywood, moving to Los Angeles in 2020. Since then, her writing has placed in the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop and earned her a spot in The Writers Guild Foundation’s Writers’ Access Support Staff Training Program. In her spare-ish time, she enjoys learning new languages, hiking in the mountains and singing jazz.

Kahlil Maskati
Kahlil “K-Swish” Maskati is a half-Indian, half-Puerto Rican writer/rapper who hails from Edison, N.J., with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Most recently, he was script coordinator on The CW series TOM SWIFT and an upcoming Bounce series, where he earned co-writing credits. Previously, he wrote a pilot called “Revenge Tour,” which was optioned by AMC Studios and went on to earn Special Jury Recognition at SXSW and an invitation to the Sundance Episodic Makers Lab. Kahlil specializes in diverse dramedies that deal with character, relationships, dating, music and young artists. In his spare time, he enjoys playing fantasy basketball and petting his friends’ dogs. He is repped by Stellar Entertainment.

Lizzie Perrin
Lizzie Perrin was born in Nagoya, Japan, with an identity crisis, literally. No one knew what to call her because her parents in America had not picked a name yet. In the meantime, the Japanese caretakers called her Elizabeth, the only English name they could pronounce. She now goes by Lizzie. Growing up in a rural town in Georgia, she was the only person of color in her class until high school. Around this time, she realized that the combination of her Southern accent and Asian features confused people. Because of this, Lizzie enjoys telling stories about outsiders struggling with identity and attempting to navigate a dysfunctional world. She has her MFA in screenwriting from Florida State University and has most recently worked as the showrunners’ assistant on “The Cleaning Lady.” Her screenplays have placed in several competitions, and her pilot, “Bako,” won Screencraft’s Virtual Pitch Competition. She is repped by World Builder Entertainment. 

Edith Rodriguez
Edith Rodriguez grew up between the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico and cold winters of Wisconsin. She learned early on that if you’re going to speak up in a big Caribbean family, you better be able to tell a good story. She writes multi-generational stories anchored in the drama of complex relationships often with a twist of irreverent, dark humor. After years of leading corporate strategy, she left the business world and made the move to Los Angeles to pursue her passion of writing for television. As a writer-director, her work has screened at AFF, PHLAFF and HollyShorts. Rodriguez is a 2022 The Gotham TV Lab Fellow, Mentorship Matters Mentee and Academy Nicholl Semifinalist. She is represented by The Mission Entertainment.

Teresa Tuan
The only child of Taiwanese immigrants, Teresa Tuan was born in San Francisco and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She discovered writing by improvising songs in the backseat of her parents’ car and kept writing even as she became the youngest female board-certified pediatrician in U.S. history at 23. Teresa started college at 12, medical school at the University of Utah at 16, and residency at UC San Francisco at 20. Sharing the stories of her patients and her own experience as a doctor is what gives her the fuel to keep practicing medicine. Currently a medical consultant on “Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.” (Disney+), Teresa continues to write songs with artists across genres spanning country to electronic pop/R&B.

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